Access Bank eyes Nigeria’s first corporate green bond

Access Bank Plc’s plans to sell Nigeria’s first corporate green bond to fund environmental projects have been uncovered. The plan was disclosed by a person with knowledge of the matter.

According to the source, the bank, which could create Africa’s largest retail lender by customers with the takeover of Diamond Bank Plc, plans to raise about 15 billion naira in the first quarter for climate-related funds and programs.

More so, the lender plans to sell green bonds totalling N150 billion by 2021.

What green bonds mean

A green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects. These bonds are typically asset-linked and backed by the issuer’s balance sheet, and are also referred to as climate bonds.

However, the Nigerian government, in 2017, sold the country’s first green bond worth N10.7 billion and plans to raise as much as N150 billion by 2021, according to the debt management agency. A green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and green bonds are part of the country’s plan to cut emissions and meet its obligations to the Paris agreement on the environment. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Lagos-based FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange launched Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Program last year to encourage private companies to sell climate-related debts.

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A look at SEC’s newly launched Green Bonds Issuance Rules

The Green Bonds Issuance Rules of the SEC, which were formulated in October 2018 after a series of collaborations with stakeholders in the capital market, were finally unveiled yesterday in Abuja during a small ceremony.

A press statement issued by the capital market regulator said some of the stakeholders SEC collaborated with include the Green Bonds Market Development Programme, the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, and the Financial Sector Deepening Africa.

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